Lobbyist position for Doncaster Council paying £350 a day branded a '˜waste of money'Â

Doncaster Council wants to create a role who will lobby Government ministers and business leaders on devolution and big capital projects paying £350 a day.

Tuesday, 9th October 2018, 5:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 10th October 2018, 4:54 pm
Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller
Doncaster Council chief executive Jo Miller

The position, which equates to around £80,000 a year, has been criticised by one opposition councillor who described it as a '˜waste of money'.

A job advert posted by council chiefs outlines the need for a '˜dedicated resource' who will work to bring a train line to Doncaster Sheffield Airport, help secure a One Yorkshire devolution deal and help the borough become a '˜university city'.

The lobbyist will also make efforts to secure a PGA European Tour standard golf course and tournament at Rossington Hall.

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The successful candidate will be '˜working very closely' with the chief executive Jo Miller Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones.

Working primarily from the Civic Office, the chosen applicant will also meet with officials outside of the borough and in London.

Council's employing lobbyists were criticised under former Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles who said council tax should not be used for the '˜corrosive and wasteful practice of government lobbying government'.

Conservative councillor Nick Allen, who represents Bessacarr said: 'It's a waste of money right now - the council claim to be living in times of austerity yet they've found £350 a day to spend on something we don't really need.

'I hope councillors will have a say in this appointment so we can scrutinise all candidates through the chief officers appointments process.'

Christian Foster, head of strategy and performance, said: 'We are ambitious for Doncaster and we want our town to be competing on a national level with other major towns and cities.

'This new post will help us to have the right conversations in the right places with the right people who influence leaders on key decisions.

'Major plans such as the East Coast Mainline airport rail link, the PGA Golf Course and our drive to become a University City are significant projects for Doncaster. These areas, amongst others, are where this new post will be able to make a huge difference in potentially bringing millions of pounds of investment into Doncaster.'